An Overture for Adam in Strings and Sax / Bob Ambrose

                       Quantum strings will always sing 
                       assigned frequencies, set pieces 
                       undergirding all we are below 
                       the threshold of ever knowing 
                       with songs that constrain matter 
                       to the dance of chance and brute 
                       necessity, inert bodies compelled 
                       by contingency, brains of beasts 
                       bullied by what came before, no 
                       foretaste of freedom here where 
                       what is not forbidden, that very 
                       thing required, enforced in times 
                       before the turning, when God’s 
                       honey-voiced servant graced the 
                       Garden and woke new worlds of 
                       choice and shame. 

Ah, that siren-serpent 
blows jazz notes, riffs 
below the threshold of thinking 
where blood rises unbidden 
and neural circuits 
form and bind 
strange loops map symbols as Adam sings names 
the beasts of field 
and birds of air 
in the holy dance 
of fire and abstraction 
by the shade of the forbidden tree that towers mid-garden 
stepping lightly 
to syncopated serpent-rhythm 
looping, loosening, catching 
incipient mind finds the symbol for mind 
regards itself 
staring back, sucked 
into consciousness, shatters 
the looking glass, falls through the face of infinity 
gone the garden, forever 
emerging to indeterminacy 
with pounding temple and tart aftertaste of awareness 
at last 

Celestial strings sing peaceful themes to a strident world of
     autonomous souls 
locked in the logic of survival, doubled down in Prisoner’s Dilemma
     until sweet 
chords call forth our latent angel-nature, carved below the folds
     and through 
the grooves of growing minds, molded by God and game theory over
     eons of anguish 
to defy the dictates of Darwin at last, alleluia, and bend the steel
     arc of history 
by slow degrees toward the peaceable kingdom which exists, surely,
incarnated from abstraction in the everyday lives of kindly sinners and sweat- 
saints who swing to strings and sax, freed from necessity to fall,
     or rise.

My Rhythm / Bobbi Johnson aka B. F. Hayes

It’s never to late to find your rhythm, your inner beat inside
Come let me take you on a journey, a journey in my rhyme
It’s true most diss, and dismiss my style, but I have come to find
That in time one can not deny
How it moves -in and through,
Around, up and over you
A warm wave sensual, soothing,
Both erotically, excitingly warm and cooling
A sunny day, stormy sea, dewy meadow all rolled into one
It’s ruling over your heartbeat, your breathing,
Like the earth is ruled by the sun
My meaning is as ugly as a sunset, and just as trivial
Listen now as my rhythm slows, its purpose to upset the superficial
Do you hear it? Harsh, hard, brittle…
Now sit amazed as I calmly restore order
Beautifully and brilliantly as a rose lined border
My rhythm flows like a river, first fast then slow
Through twists and turns, over rocks, to falls below
It calms the restless spirit, primal, instinctual, and raw
Beyond reason, it achieves perfection with every flaw

Eternal / Life

A swift blink and I stand, an old man, behind a podium.
How fast do life's curtains fall!
The moon now a grain of salt in the bland universe,
As I feast with my guardians in the cosmos
Thanking them for their protection.
Still a memory beseeched me:
Of the trees which grow out of the dirt
From which I was once formed.
Gender-less, yet fruitful as they sway
Obeying the commandment of universal balance:
I am a part of you, as you are a part of me.
Then the earth recalls its borrowed flesh.
The ground welcomes my coffin:
A wooden table for parasites to feast upon
Releasing my once trapped spirit.
Still I am a part of you, as you are a part of me.
To eternity I travel forward
Leaving positive prints through realms and dimensions.
Traces of my presences chipped in memories,
Float like kites across the burning blue sky.
Show me where the ashes of time are piled
And I'll show you the green mountains
Where our shells shrink to wrinkled coats
And are worn by our wisdom.

Try This / Fiona Sheehan

God, we are so lucky to be in this bed of language.
Read poetry - even when and if you can't write it yourself.
Hear the talk of concerned people.
Watch and hear language and thoughts evolve,
then watch the bee lift up into the turquoise canopy of tree.
There are times when it is most poetic to simply think,
God, the earth is beautiful.
When the inch worm dangling in front of the busy road,
or the people who have been sitting by the street all morning
are to be recognized.

But to my generation of digital poets, I must say this:
Know that when thoughts are actualized on the page, they change.
That I am @ the computer typing this
signifies that these words have not arrived undisturbed.
Like transplanting a tree into your own manicured, well-tended
this poem is once, maybe twice, maybe worlds removed.
It is a tourist, seeking, but not finding the place of origin
it so desperately wants to see,
to make its own.

But still, it is worth it
to find the poetry that is unedited by a moody hand,
the phrase that isn't planned,
and to find the place where you are only grateful
for your consciousness in that moment.

Einbaum / Andrew Mandelbaum

Your felled voice,
the enclosing rings of years
burned open, dug out
to buoyancy
by your own mollusked hands.

Overtones still whistle in the culvert
against the seesaw squeal and the handclap rhyme,
where you spired over the playground,
amulets dangling horse-haired from limbs,
clinking and whispering avert to the winds.

Prow hidden in bark and pith,
still rooted and rising,
hands grip the chains of the swing,
waiting into the skies
for the Black Sea to come home.

oh rising throat / ben gulyas

oh rising throat
of the rip song…
the bolting back and walloring thrust
of three and twenty-four Willies…
the whip-of-the wills
forever impulsing
the tone of the sun and the dark—

thread-bare sugar-caned Willie…
the land laid ground
of heel and knee,
one toe and no teeth,
yet still inhaling horizons…
gummin pie dough
like Shangri-La’s golden butter…
the sunlight across the tongue
the warmth in the blind belly…
and they say they don’t churn that stuff here no more…
but down on Toe Mud there’s a door to the world…
there’s a door to the world
they don’t even know…

yeah, the gunnerees, they miss the old west,
but he’s goin in deepsouth to the heart,
promises to keep…
his turtle eyes,
the bubbles rising
from his dreams…
his chest
gone in the flow
straight to the sea…
under late afternoon rib clouds
goes corner throat crossing Willie…

he lost his footing,
but kept his tongue
for breath and motion…

and he never
came back—

the o' both / ralph la charity

he's a player's

known immediately

to be so by

other players & the way

they know's he plays

what he hears whatever

he hears & he hears out

o' both sides o' both

ears & sits

cocked on the other

side of a fence what's

got more sides'n

four by far


players stir the o' both
w/four by fars o' heard